Friday, November 02, 2007

Tell Me How This Isn't Torture


I find it somewhat incredible that anyone could look at this picture and not call it torture. If you can't see clearly, one man is holding the victim's nose while another pours water into his mouth as he is clearly bound and unable to move. Why is it that Michael Mukasey seems to have so much trouble with this concept?

Granted, as the article in the Post says, “waterboarding” sounds like a cross between water skiing and snowboarding. But the practice of simulating drowning by using cellophane over the mouth and nose or actually forcing water into the lungs goes way beyond “repugnant.”

For someone like me who is terrified of drowning, just the mention of such techniques would probably elicit a full confession. I can’t even imagine being the victim of such barbarism.

I hope every one of our 100 senators will find this man unfit to serve as the next head of the Justice Department. There must be another candidate out there who has the requisite qualifications and who also passed the course on Torture 101 to call it what it is.

How do we dare condemn other countries for human rights violations if we continue to waffle on our own definition of torture? Please tell me this.

8 Comments:

Blogger Richard said...

I think George Orwell offers some explanation from 1984 and this from his essay on Politics and the English Language.

So long as we allow ourselves to demonize others and allow others to demonize others, there can be no justice unless it is the justice of might, not right.

I cmpletely reject the notion of "My country, right or wrong." It is only my country if it is right.

The only good thing I have to say is tha tin our "free" and "democratic" nations, these types of flagrent abuses are less common than in other countries - though it is of little consolation to those who are unfortunate enough to be on the wrong side of authority.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I hate it when politics is the guiding principle instead of the right and just thing to do. And this is just one more example of politics at play. I hope it comes home to bite the politicians and we can put this and other forms of torture behind us. I cringe to think what has gone on in Guantanamo Bay for the last 6 years.

It is true that many countries are doing even more atrocious things to prisoners, but that doesn't make any form or torture even remotely more acceptable.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

It's hard to believe (or stomach) that our leaders have an amorphous definition of such a serious term.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Don't tell me you've just heard about this. It has been common knowledge in Canada for a while.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- Our leaders define terms to suit their agendas unfortunately.

Richard -- I've heard of it for years, but it has come to the forefront because the nominee to head up the Justice Department called the practice "repugnant", but refused to label it as torture.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous scott said...

Definately looks like torture to me!

10:39 PM  
Blogger Ulysses said...

I wish we could be honest about it besides. Is the information you get from torture useful? I know I'd tell you everything you wanted to hear whether I knew anything or not.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Ulysses -- I'm with you. It seems like a way to get signed affadavits for just about anything you want.

5:43 PM  

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